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Emperor Leo I

Leo I the Great was the first Eastern Roman emperor to be crowned by the Patriarch Anatolius of Constantinople. 1)

Constantine V Copronymus

Constantine V Copronymus (718 - 775), was a Byzantine emperor, one of the greatest iconoclasts. He was nicknamed copronymus (kopros, dung) by historians hostile to the iconoclasts. At the Council of Hierei, he banned the preservation and production of any artwork related to Christian worship. This was the prelude to a widespread campaign to destroy works depicting the figures of saints, the Holy Trinity, and so on. From churches walls with mosaics were torn out, illustrated books were burned, dozens of monasteries were turned into arms depots and barracks, thousands of monks were forcibly married off to former harlots. 2)

Founded in 395

Byzantium was founded in 395, due to Emperor Theodosius I's division of the Roman empire into two parts - eastern and western. 3)

The reach

In its best years, which were in the mid-6th century, the Byzantine Empire's possessions included: The Balkan Peninsula, Asia Minor, Syria, Phoenicia, Palestine, northern Africa with Egypt, southern Spain, Sicily, and Italy. 4)


At the head of Byzantium since 629 formally basileus was the emperor-the highest ruler in the universe, who was elected by the senate, with unanimous approval, the army, and the people. 5)

Irene of Athens

Irene of Athens was Byzantine empress (797-802), wife of Leo IV. Since 780 Irene was regent to her minor son Constantine VI. In 787, during the Second Council of Nicea, she restored the cult of images. When the son came of age and assumed the throne, there was a permanent conflict of power between the son and the mother. Eventually, the empress led to his blinding and imprisonment, where he died. Because of her role in the fight against iconoclasm, she is sometimes venerated as a saint in both Eastern and Western Christianity, although she has never been officially canonized. 6)

Greek fire

During the war with the Arabs, the Byzantine army was the first to use Greek fire. 7)

Supremacy of the state over the Church

Justinian the Great introduced views that led to the supremacy of the state over the Church and the decision of all religious life. 8)

Hagia Sofia

As part of his nurturing of artistic creativity, the emperor funded numerous public buildings, such as the Hagia Sophia Basilica in the capital (532-537). 9)

Name origin

The name Byzantium is derived from the name of the city of Byzantion, on the site of which Constantinople was built. 10)

Lack of legislation

The weak point of the Byzantine Empire was the lack of any legal regulations that dealt with the succession to the throne. This led to seizures of power in defiance of the law and internal fighting and political murders. 11)

The Book of Suda

The Book of Suda, often quoted under the Latin title Liber Suda, is a 10th-century Byzantine lexicon of about 30,000 entries, of which about 900 are factual articles, mostly historical and literary. In view of the scarcity of ancient sources, the book is invaluable and in many cases the only source of historical information. Justus Lipsius, a Flemish historian, and philosopher called it “a ram of the golden fleece”. 12)


Cereal cultivation was widespread in the Byzantine Empire, and horticulture, fruit growing, and farming developed rapidly. The cultivation of sugarcane, cotton, and mulberry was also promoted, thanks to which silkworm breeding developed strongly. 13)


The process of supplanting ethnic religions became an undoubted success of the Byzantine Church. Baptism through Byzantium was accepted by Bulgaria, Serbia, and Kievan Rus, among others. 14)


In the field of architecture, Byzantium developed two types of temples: central and oblong. The central was represented by rotundas built on a circular plan, while the oblong was represented by basilicas. A characteristic feature of Byzantine architecture is the very frequent use of vaults, domes, and arches, and the gradual departure from the colonnades and beams typical of Hellenistic art. 15)


Hesychasm (hesychasmos; from Greek 'ησυχία, hēsychía - tranquility ) is a Byzantine mystical current that reached its peak development and popularity in the 14th century. The basic idea of Hesychasm is the spiritual union of man with God as a form of his deification. Hesychastics preached the possibility of seeing the light of God through intense prayer, contemplation, and specific ascetic practices, which consisted of holding one's breath during prayerful silence. The doctrine was most fully developed by Gregory Palamas, a monk from Mount Athos, whose name Hesychasm was often called Palamism. 16)

byzantium.txt · Last modified: 2022/10/17 02:24 by aga